Russian attack The center of Mariupol is still in Ukraine’s possession: the last defenders expect a “huge concentration” of Russia

According to the deputy mayor of Mariupol, Russia is forcibly transporting people from the territories it occupies to a “transfer camp”.

Asovanmeren the center of the port and industrial city of Mariupol on the shore is still in the hands of Ukrainian forces, even though the center was allegedly occupied by the Russians as early as 12 days ago. The head of the militia of the separatist regime in Donetsk, which was maintained by Russia, said this Eduard Basurin In an interview with Russia’s number one channel.

“The opponent holds three important targets,” Basurin told the newspaper Izvestijan by. “They are the center, the Azovstal steel plant and the port.”

According to Basurin, there are still about 3,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian troops in the city. Colonel Basurin is a native of Donetsk but served in the Perm region of Russia. He previously served as an information officer in the armed forces of the Donetsk “People’s Republic”.

Russian troops attacked Mariupol from both the southern direction of Crimea and the direction of Donetsk right at the beginning of the Russian invasion. Landing troops were soon brought in, and Mariupol was in the perfect spot on 1-2. March.

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Russia has smashed the city during the siege by air, navy, artillery and missiles. Russia wants to take over Mariupol at all costs to get direct land access from the Donetsk region to the Crimean peninsula.

Mayor Vadim Bochenko estimates last Monday that 40 per cent of the city’s buildings have been destroyed and 90 per cent damaged. The death toll in Mariupol has so far claimed an estimated 5,000 lives.

Siege civilians left behind in the blockade have managed to escape the city occasionally by car. According to the mayor, the city still has about 160,000 inhabitants without water, electricity, heat and food. Drinking water has been collected, among other things, by emptying the central heating radiators.

The defense of the city is led by the commander of the Azov regiment under the Ministry of the Interior, Major Denis Prokopenko. He gave on Thursday a Ukrainian journalist To Dmitro Hordon video interview from the basement of Mariupol with the electricity generated by the generator. Gordon estimates that the city is currently besieged by about 14,000 Russian soldiers.

“Russia has announced that it is concentrating pressure on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, so we expect a huge concentration to be directed here,” Prokopenko said. “But we will fight to the end. If a fighter who has been wounded three or four times still takes up arms, it cannot be said that he is afraid. ”

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Defense keeping it this long is a real miracle. According to Prokopenko, the regiment has been able to distribute food to the fighters once a day. Prokopenko will not tell how enough ammunition is. There is no service connection, the nearest Ukrainian troops are at least tens of kilometers away in the direction of Zaporozhye.

However, according to Prokopenko, his troops had time to empty and mine their barracks and move to defensive positions before the Russian invasion began.

Mariupolin deputy mayor Serhi Orlov told the news site Nastoyashche Vremjan in an interview on Friday that Russian forces are forcibly relocating civilians from the blocks they occupy to Russia.

“The soldiers come to the basement door and shout that the bombing is coming, you have ten minutes,” Orlov describes. After that, the civilians, according to Orlov, walk to the suburbs of Lyapino east of the center and from there they are further transported to the cities of Sopino, Bezymenno and Novoazovsky.

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Of these, civilians are assembled into “transfer camps” or “filtering camps,” according to Orlov, where cell phones and tattoos of men are examined and newcomers are interrogated.

“They are given two options: go to Donetsk or go to Russia,” Orlov says. According to him, those evacuated from Russia can only get away by hiding their Ukrainian passport.

Mariupolin the worst single attack in the battle took place two weeks ago, when apparently a Russian missile destroyed the Drama Theater in the city center.

According to Prokopenko, the theater was used as accommodation for civilians and had 800 people there during the attack. Of these, 500 were rescued from the rubble and 300 died. Russian propaganda has claimed that the Azov regiment blew up the theater itself in order to blame Russia.

“We don’t have guns like that,” Prokopenko says of the theater’s destruction.

Read more: Conquering Mariupol would improve Russia’s position in the east and south – Land connection between Donetsk and Crimea could be established in days

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